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11-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #16
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To answer the original post: they're the same lens. The full name is SMC Pentax. Sometimes different stores put the name slightly differently in their listings. But they're all the same model.

11-24-2012, 06:30 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywindow Quote
One should never say never, but I don't think Pentax will do a revamp of the FA Limited series anytime soon (at least it's not on the roadmap for the next 2 years).
That said, the majority of the weather sealing bits that you can see on a WR lens are actually gaskets at the joining part on the back side of the lens. In addition, the exterior of the lens is built using different materials.

Now, as far as the difference between the DA* 55 and the FA 77 Limited, the DA* 55 has less CA at open apertures and less maximum resolution when stopped down, but both of them in my opinion have good color tonality and great 3d effect. Both have a slightly warmer color rendition. I find with both that there is very little in the way of postprocessing that I have to do to get them the way I want them to look. If you are looking for a portrait lens, you would be hard pressed to do better than either.

Here, I don't know if it'll help, but look at some pictures I took with my K20D and the DA*55.



Hello icywindow
Thanks for showing the pictures. Would you have a frontal portrait picture with following aspects: includes half of upper torso, background fuzzed-out (say ~f/2)?

Amongst all kinds of landscape shots I plan to take portrait picture as per the specification above. I want to make sure it truely does the job and is sharp, devoid of CA on the periphery of the picture. I realize that in order to be very sharp and CA free I have to operate slighly above the lowest f stop on this lens.
11-24-2012, 10:00 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by kataria0 Quote
Hello icywindow
Thanks for showing the pictures. Would you have a frontal portrait picture with following aspects: includes half of upper torso, background fuzzed-out (say ~f/2)?

Amongst all kinds of landscape shots I plan to take portrait picture as per the specification above. I want to make sure it truely does the job and is sharp, devoid of CA on the periphery of the picture. I realize that in order to be very sharp and CA free I have to operate slighly above the lowest f stop on this lens.
Sure, sir.

I cannot remember what aperture this was taken with. Probably either F2 or 2.8. My sis and a bear statue. The car going by behind her was probably about 20 feet away.
11-25-2012, 09:26 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywindow Quote
Sure, sir.

I cannot remember what aperture this was taken with. Probably either F2 or 2.8. My sis and a bear statue. The car going by behind her was probably about 20 feet away.
icywindow
Thank you for putting the picture up. Partly as a result of your effort and others on this post I just went ahead and ordered K-5 ii body only along with DA* 55mm F2.8 lens with B&H for a total of $1548.95 with $150 discount and special pricing on both the items. I think it is a very good deal. I look forward to shooting when they ship out the items as they are out of stock on the lens and don't know when it will arrive. I will post some pictures when I have the chance.
For me the next set of quests would likely be in the following order
A) a high quality polarizer to go along with the lens (more like an immediate issue after I receive my order)
B) a high zoom prime lens that is also WR (about 2 years from now)
C) a camera bag that will accomodate the camera and eventual two camera lenses (2 years from now as I have camera bag for my current one lens need)

Thank you everyone

11-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #20
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Glad to have helped in your decision process. I think you will be happy with it.

I will be looking forward to seeing pictures from you with your new camera outfit.
11-25-2012, 05:14 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by kataria0 Quote
Just to help you answer my questions here is my brief requirement. I am looking for the sharpest, clearest picture possible and I am interested in 77mm focal length.
A great alternative would have been the Pentax DA* 50-135/2.8.

This zoom is quite a bit bigger and heavier than the FA 77/1.8 but it is WR and has a very good optical quality. It is not a full-frame lens, though. The latter is the only reason stopping me from getting it (and the SDM issues, although there is hope that these have been addressed starting with 2012).

Another alternative is to use some protection for the lens, such as a plastic bag. You can leave the camera partially exposed but effectively protect the lens and thus the whole system. I probably would have gone this route, given your requirements.

I'm not a fan of the DA* 55/1.4 (I don't think the quality of its bokeh even begins to approach that of the FA 77/1.8) but hopefully you'll like it.
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